Beyond Certification was published in May 2015 and reviews the positive aspects of certification. But more important, it argues that we can no longer afford to gloss over its failures.
Certification emerged from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit amidst great hope. Since then, despite a proliferation of certification schemes in twenty-five industry sectors, the destructive and irresponsible exploitation of natural and human resources has grown still worse.
Beyond Certification sets out a new vision for how we might better approach responsible stewardship of the Earth's natural resources.
The book offers an alternative model, VT-TV, based on Values, Transparency, Transformation and Verification, which I've been exploring and implementing with The Forest Trust with over 70 companies and industries around the world.
These companies are transforming the story of the raw materials they use -- wood, palm oil, pulp and paper, stone, charcoal, soy, beef, sugar, dairy, rubber, coffee, cocoa and coconut. Mining companies are also exploring this approach, and making decisions aligned with fundamental values and what they know to be right.
The results? Trust is emerging as former combatants awake to the importance of working together. Guns have been removed from forests, land set aside for protection, worker rights and conditions improved and long-standing conflicts have been resolved as people confront their legacies.
Beyond Certification does not claim that this VT-TV model is the only solution. Rather, it shows how new and seemingly radical thinking can catalyze positive change.
The book is sponsored by The Forest Trust. Their kind sponsorship enables the publishers Dō Sustainability to provide a free download as well as a much-reduced price for the printed paperback to cover basic production costs. TFT did this because we would like to make the book easily available to all and through that to engage as many people as possible in the discussion the book seeks to stimulate. Certification is a hotly debated issue and Beyond Certification offers a profound, new approach.